Diarist is an app to help you update your Journal directly from Whatsapp.
To use it you need to do the following:
- A common recommendation when starting a diary is to write as if you were writing to a friend, so what if the platform you used to do that was the very same one ?
- You don't have to install anything, it's literally just a number you text.
Since there's still some functionality missing from the app (e.g. proper user management, I don't have an approved whatsapp business account, etc.) I've decided not to host it just yet, so I recorded a short video showing the functionality:
I hope you forgive my bad editing skills and dull voice over 🙈
Journaling made simple.
How it works:
- Create an account
- You get a whatsapp message asking
How was your day today?
- You reply to the text with all your adventures
- That's it !
Once you feel like reading some of your old entries you can go to the webapp or consume from the rest API to get your messages formatted and time-stamped It will also continue to send you a text every day so that you don't forget to update your diary.
About the app
A "Diarist" is a person who writes a diary This app lets you send your journal updates via Whatsapp and view them on your browser Note that:
- It is my entry for the Twilio x DEV hackathon.
- It is based on the java Spark framework. Heavily influenced by the appointment reminders app example from Twilio.
If you are curious about the future, inspirations…
Once I had a more clear idea I started looking at Twilio's examples and I found this Appointment reminders java spark app which seemed like a good baseline to build the project on top off.
In the end I used the Spark micro-framework for everything from the rest API to the frontend, as well as the Mustache template engine. I also use a MySQL instance to store all of the users journal entries.
- I've been thinking about diaries since I saw that Loretta superbowl commercial from Google (If you haven't seen it, go do that now, it's really good).
- The Mellow Days youtube channel is probably my goal as to how I want the interface to look
I like to think it's split in 3 separate functions:
- A journal 'prompt'. This is the whatsapp message you get everyday. It's purpose is both to remind you to write every day and also to inspire some responses (There's a difference between "Remember to write your diary" and "What was the best part of your day?")
- A journal manager, to CRUD all of your journal entries
- A (not so) fancy journal viewer to read your old entries. Currently it's very simple but my vision for it includes different themes and tools to edit your entries
I already have some ideas but we'll see what the future brings (If you want to collaborate or bounce off more ideas I would appreciate the input):
- Add configurable journal prompts. I think figuring out what to write about it's really hard and asking the right questions always helps.
- Add more ways to send updates. Email is an obvious candidate for the next integration.
- Create an "On this day" feature like the one on Facebook. Journal entries are there to be remembered and although I'm not a Facebook user anymore I do miss that feature.
- Make the notification schedule configurable. Do you want a message every day at 8 PM ? You got it! Do you want a message only on Sundays ? It's up to you
- Create "themes" for the viewer. Mainly based around the stuff Mellow Days from youtube creates since I'm interested on the whole "Looks hand-drawn but it's actually generated digitally" kind of stuff
- Normalize all of the stored data. I've seen some of the projects like Notable use markdown as a way to avoid vendor lock-in, which is a win for everyone IMO
- Add an easy way to edit the journal entries. I'm sure I'm not the only that has twice as many typos when writing on my phone.
- Add support for pictures (and other media). That old adage is true after all.